Sunday, 7 March 2021
Title: Gratitude
By Elder Bryan Lee 李惠隆

Luke 17:17-18
17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?
18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

I have a few regrets in life but one stands out. It is my failure to express gratitude to my former headmaster Mr. Ratnasingam who instead of sacking me from school due to my gross misconduct (devotional dated 12/7/2020) chose to be merciful.

Years later, in the 1990s, after his bad car accident, Mr. Ratnasingam used to walk the main streets of Section 17, Petaling Jaya all by himself. And every time I drove pass him I would mention to my wife…
“That is my former headmaster.”
Deep in my heart, on many occasions I wanted to stop my car and approach him but for whatever reasons I never got to do that.

A few years later I never saw him again. Whenever I think of my former headmaster I feel a deep sense of gratitude.

Like me, Polish Jew Franciszek Gajoniczek never saw the man who showed him mercy ever again. In 1940, he was incarcerated in Auschwitz – that infamous death camp. Four million Jews died there during the Second World War and half a ton of human hair is still preserved for posterity. Prisoners were herded into shower rooms but what rained down wasn’t water but poison gas. The showers are still there as a testimony to the utter wickedness of the human heart. In the midst of all the atrocities, Franciscan priest Maximilian Kolbe arrived as a prisoner in February 1941.

In July, a camp prisoner managed to escape and the custom at Auschwitz was to randomly pick 10 prisoners and slowly starve them to death. When Gajoniczek was picked, he was heard weeping in agony…
“My wife…my children…”
Hearing his agonising words, Maximilian Kolbe walked up to the camp commandant and requested to take his place.
“I want to die in the place of this prisoner,” he said as he pointed at the sobbing Gajoniczek. Kolbe’s request was granted.
Nicknamed Saint of Auschwitz in the camp, Kolbe died on August 14, 1941.

Gajoniczek made it through the Holocaust and returned to his native Poland when the war ended. But every August 14 he went back to Auschwitz to express his deep gratitude to the man who died in his place. (1)
He died in 1995 at the age of 93.

After Jesus healed the ten lepers, only one came back to say “Thank You.”
“Where are the nine?” Jesus asked.

Like the lepers, we who are Christians have been healed of the leprosy of sin. Gajoniczek had a priest to die in his place. We have our High Priest died for us all. This Lent season as we meditate on the Cross of Calvary leading to Good Friday and Easter, let us wake up every morning and express our gratitude to the One who died in our place…
“Thank You Lord.“

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for dying in my place. Let me be more aware of what I have than what I don’t. Because I have You, I already have the greatest of all treasures. Amen.

  1. Story adapted from “Six Hours One Friday” by Max Lucado.

每日灵粮
星期日,2021年3月7日
标题:感恩的心
作者:李惠隆
翻译:巫惠如

路17:17-18 耶稣说:“洁净了的不是十个人吗?那九个在哪里呢?除了这外族人,再没有别人回来归荣耀于神吗?” 就对那人说:“起来走吧!你的信救了你了。”

我人生中有一些遗憾,但有一件事是令人格外惋惜。他没有因为我的严重失当而开除我(12/7/2020的每日灵粮篇), 但我未能亲口感谢我的前任校长,Ratnasingam 先生。

多年后的90年代,在发生严重车祸前,Ratnasingam 先生曾独自行走八打灵再也17段的主要街道。每次我开车经过他,我都会跟我妻子说:“那是我的前任校长。” 在我内心深处,我曾多次想停下车来跟他说话,但不知出于什么原因,我都没那么做。

几年后,我再也没见过他。每当我想起我的前任校长,我都会感激不尽。

像我一样,波兰犹太人弗朗齐谢克·加约尼切克 (Franciszek Gajoniczek )再也没有见过那个施恩他的人。1940年,他被关在奥斯威辛集中营,就是臭名昭著的死亡集中营。第二次世界大战期间,有400万犹太人死在那里,5吨人类头发仍留给后代。囚犯被赶进淋浴间,但淋的不是水,而是毒气。这证明了人心的败坏。1941年2月,方济会的神父马克西莫·科尔贝(Maximilian Kolbe )作为囚犯抵达营中。

那年的7月,一名集中营囚犯成功逃脱,而奥斯威辛集中营的习俗是随机挑选10名囚犯,然后慢慢将他们饿死。当加约尼切克(Gajoniczek)被选中时,大家听到他痛哭流涕:“我的妻子,我的孩子啊!“

听到他声泪俱下,科尔贝(Kolbe)走到营地指挥官面前,要求代替他。

他指着啜泣的加约尼切克说,“我想死在这个囚犯的地方。”科尔贝的请求被批准。
科尔贝在集中营被戏称为奥斯威辛圣人,于1941年8月14日逝世。

加约尼切克在大屠杀中幸存下来,战争结束后,他回到了祖国波兰。但每年8月14日,他都回到奥斯威辛集中营,向那个替他而死的人表达深深的感激。(1)
他于1995年逝世,享年93岁。

耶稣治好十个麻风病人,只有一个回来说“谢谢” 。
耶稣问道:“那九个在哪里呢?”

和麻风病患者一样,我们基督徒已经治愈了麻风病。加约尼切克有个牧师替他死。我们的大祭司为我们而死。在这斋戒节期,当我们默想加略山的十字架,接下来的受苦节和复活节,让我们每天早上醒来,对为我们而死的那位说:

“感谢主。”

祈祷:亲爱的主,谢谢你为我而死。求主使我看清我所拥有的,而不是没有的。因为我已得着你,我已经拥有了世上最好的宝藏。阿门。

1.故事内容取自马克斯·卢卡多的《一个星期五的六小时》